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April '15

Sun Sets Over Carlton + The Wizards of Oz
Spectrum's credited with Blue Movies Make Me Cry on the When the Sun Sets Over Carlton set, sounding so much better than it did on the Warts album with the benefit of remastering and with an intro I'd forgotten.
The Wizards of Oz is an interpretation of mostly Oz originals by psychedelic whiz kids, Amorphous Androgynous and includes The Sons of the Vegetal Mother's Love is the Law.

Oct. '13 - April '15

The Long Run + Hard to Get Hits (comp's)
Two double compilation CDs from the opposite ends of the compilation Universe. Anyway, the important thing for you to know is that there are a couple of tracks from Bill and me onThe Long Run, the B version of I'll Be Gone and a song that I thought I'd lost for all time, Recycle Your Love, which we performed with the beautiful Enza Pantano back in 1994, and the original version of IBG on the Sony compilation - which ain't bad given the international company it's keeping.

Oct. '13 (Oh, good grief!)

Max Merritt & The Meteors - Been Away Too Long
Recorded live in glorious mono in 1969, this gig finds Max and the band in aggressively fine form. The set begins with a couple of pushy Max originals, Been Away Too Long and I'm So Happy and the energy doesn't falter from then on. Stand out tracks are Dizzy Gillespie's instrumental Kush, with a signature drum solo from Stewie featuring his seamless single-handed snare rolls, taken out by Dave Russell's careering bass line under a rampant ensemble, and an Otis Redding medley that thankfully includes Max's unsurpassed version of Try a Little Tenderness. If you're familiar with the more amiable latter versions.. read more

Sept. '11 - (I've lost track!)
The Pardoners - Indulgences (See video)
This feature has been allowed to languish due to total lack of interest on my behalf, but I was jolted out of my apathy upon receiving my reviewers' copy of The Pardoners latest from Glyn 'Hoover' Mason - and then actually putting on to listen. My concentration was heightened with Spectrum concurrently tossing out another EP and I'm sure Sam will be delighted to hear that I'm deeply depressed at the quality of intention and execution on his and Glyn's 'baby'. But don't take my word for it - go to The Pardoners' site and buy yourself a copy - you'll be delighted too..
Oct. '06 - Sept. '11 (Oops..)

The Story of..
Sound Vault Records has compiled these tracks from albums released by acts on its roster, which happens to comprise largely of Melbourne musicians, so it's a useful indicator of the musical diversity in this town that's usually ignored by radio. All the songs are narrative in approach (hence the title), so if you're in the mood for a story, this is the CD for you. Spectrum's track is I Know There Was Another Man There, (from No Thinking), which was bound to sound kinda naïve wherever it was - and does here - but it does have that rootsy country break in it which fits with the predominantly country-ish tone of the album.

Aug. '06 - Oct. '06

Vivid - Head 065
I heard a track from this album a couple of weeks ago on Michael Glover's Border Crossings show on PBS as one of a number of Indian influenced tracks. When he back-announced it he opined it was as successful a blend of Western jazz and Indian music as you could hear. The surprise is that although the CD emanates from New York, its prime mover is a Melbourne born musician Barney McAll (brother of John McAll who plays with Ross Wilson every now and then). It's occurred to me many times that Indian music and jazz should fuse fairly seamlessly, but it's very rarely pulled off. This is not just another virtuoso showcase - it's a moody ensemble masterpiece.

May '06 - July '06
For Pete's Sake
The For Pete's Sake CD
is immediately distinguished by having the worst cover art I've seen for a long time, but in one sense it indicates to the casual buyer at least that here is a party record, full of classic Oz tracks that happen to have been produced by Peter Dawkins over a long and very distinguished (and ongoing) career. John Farnham, Dragon, Air Supply, Billy Thorpe, Aussie Crawl, Pseudo Echo, Mi Sex, Slim Dusty, Russell Morris and Ross Ryan are all here. Sadly Ariel is unrepresented, but Tim Gaze and I exacted a heavy price by playing at the CD's launch for a full thirty minutes to a chatty crowd who couldn't give a toss . Glenn A. Baker's notes are extensive.
Jan. '06 - Apr. '06

Daddy Cool
Of course, this is not a CD, but a DVD, and a double DVD to boot, with a whole three hours of viewing. I watched their Tsunami concert appearance first and, like the incredulous but delighted Myer Music Bowl audience on the day, fell in love with DC all over again. Ron Brown and Ed Nimmervoll in particular deserve a lot of credit for rounding up everybody and getting them to speak about the phenomenon that was Daddy Cool - with the passage of time we tend to forget how meteoric was their rise, and the unprecedented heights to which they flew. Aztec International have spared nothing with the packaging, which looks plush while maintaining the cartoonish image that Ian McAusland devised for the band. Buy it.

Oct. '05 - Dec. '05

A Little R&R
A Little R&R
- Red and Rupert is a CD I apparently played some harp on - hence I received my complimentary copy in the mail yesterday. I do vaguely remember the session too, but I never got to meet either of the protagonists responsible. So, in the absence of anything we've produced, this becomes my CD of the month. If you suffer from delicate sensibilities, this is not the album for you, but if you're looking for some relief from the terminally serious - i.e. a whole heap of outrageous and juvenile fun from men who are old enough to know better, then this comes highly recommended. Ross Ryan has done a remarkable job of putting it on CD without catching something nasty.

June '05 - Sept. '05
Hey Gringo 3 + Christchurch The Music
Hey Gringo's new album Three was delivered to me by Hey Gringo front man Daryl Roberts in person today - so hot it's got no cover yet. Daryl's hoping that the art work and printing is going to be ready in time for the launch on the 22nd. This is the second Gringo album I've been involved with, and one has to marvel at the speed with which it all comes together, due in no small measure to the unflagging energy of Daryl himself and the expertise of engineer cum producer Nicky Bomba. As well as Spectrum performing Daryl's song You Know What I Mean, quite a few of my guitar licks have made it alongside Kevin Borich's, and Ross Wilson's contributed a really cool song.
I'm popping over to Christchurch, the city of my birth, next week. EMI's launching the prosaically named CD, Christchurch The Music, with a track on it from my first band, Chants R&B. The track was the B side of the first single we released, and was really a lot closer to what the band was all about than the A side. It's a mystery why Christchurch in particular produced so many rock and pop musicians, because it was reputed to be the most anally retentive town in the British Commonwealth, let alone New Zealand. Maybe a little repression is good for the rebellious soul. Anyway, this is as comprehensive collection of the music that has been produced by Christchurch's sons and daughters and so is naturally highly recommended. buy from website
Dec. '04 - May '05

Get a Haircut
I got this in the mail a few days ago from a NZ buddy, John Baker. John's responsible for the choice of songs on this essentially historical compilation, so I guess a Chants' tune was inevitable, seeing he was responsible for getting the Chants back in the public eye. Aussie readers of my vintage will recognise a few of the musicians like Ray Columbus, Max Merritt and Johnny Devlin, but many of the others will be a mystery. The liner notes are written by the artists themselves, and as there are 31 tracks, the booklet is fat and the print tiny. You could get onto the nzmusic.com website and order a copy for Xmas for those hard-to-please Kiwi friends..

Sept. '04 - Nov. '04

Blues Train
I've mentioned that Bill and I popped along to the world famous Rainbow pub a couple of weeks ago for the launch of this particular CD. We didn't hang round long enough to pick up our complimentary copies, so imagine my delight when a parcel arrived today with three Blues Train CDs. It celebrates the Bellarine Peninsula Railway's Blues Train, (check the website), which runs over the summer months and has featured performances by all the artists on this compilation.
The team that put the CD together is from NMIT's Music Industry Adv. Dip. course, and one can only hope they persevere, because they've done it right!

April '04 - Aug. '04

Seasons of Change + Thredbo Blues
Two live CDs with vastly differing Spectrum performances are featured this month. The long-threatened Series One - Seasons of Change CD (and DVD) have finally emerged. Check out the Forever Young website or phone/fax (03) 57871959 for more info. review
The Thredbo Blues Festival compilation CD (with Bill's guitar on the cover) is also out. Check the Thredbo website for purchase details.

Sept. '03 - Mar. '04

Fatherhood + Queenscliff Alive
The Fatherhood CD has been released and you can read about it in September's Stop Press (see the Archives link on the home page) and get it from the Fatherhood website. The Queenscliff Alive CD (see the Issue #3 home page) is available from ABC shops everywhere and features a host of Aussie stars from Christmases past. Ross Wilson reckons that 2nd Coming is the best track on the album. About time we released a studio version..

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